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Euthanasia is antithetical to the philosophy of hospice care, which honors the intrinsic equal dignity of all people and promises to care for people to the end of their natural lives. One method by which this philosophy is carried out is suicide prevention. If a hospice patient becomes suicidal, the threat to life is treated just as seriously as suicide threats from people who are not dying.

But assisted suicide philosophy is contrary, claiming that killing oneself for purposes of alleviating suffering is the “ultimate civil right,” creating a dichotomy that is sometimes framed as “hemlock versus hospice.” This story from New Zealand about a proposal to create euthanasia “havens” is an example of the philosophical conflict. Note that the euthanasia advocate frames mercy killing as an alternative to hospice. At least that is honest: Hospice and euthanasia are mutually exclusive concepts.

More on: Euthanasia

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